4 Important Grades of Essential Oils | Essential Oils of Therapeutic Grade

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There are four main grades of essential oils. Essential oils of therapeutic grade (Grade A), food-grade essential oils, perfume grade, and floral water essential oil. So, when you want to buy essential oils, take some time to research the seller, especially if you plan to buy them online. Not all essential oil brands are of high quality. Some products are of poor quality and will not provide you with the desired therapeutic value of the finest oils.

Also, you must treat your essential oils as you would your favorite perfume or cologne. Store them in a cool, dark place. This will help to reduce the risk of the oils breaking down as a result of exposure to heat and sunlight.

Different Essential Oil Grades

As mentioned earlier, there are four grades of essential oils.

Grade A: Essential Oils of Therapeutic Grade

These are essential oils of therapeutic grade. They are organically grown, steam distilled, unadulterated, and safe for internal use.

It is important to note that there are those who deem the use of the term therapeutic as being a “made-up” term because no governmental agency certifies an oil as being therapeutic. While no governmental agency certifies these oils, there is a plethora of scientific research that supports the value essential oils have for health and wellness.

For an oil to be therapeutic, you need hundreds of pounds of the plant material to create it. Essential oils of therapeutic grade are extremely concentrated and costly to make and they are the grade needed for the best results.

Grades of Essential Oils
Essential oils of therapeutic grade

Grade B: Food Grade Essential Oils

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Grade B essential oils are of a food grade. They contain pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and fungicides. Only five percent of the oil has to be composed of essential oil to receive the label of being a pure essential oil. They are not pure like the essential oils of therapeutic grade.

Grade B essential oils are not safe for internal use. Although they may have the label of food-grade, you should not assume that this means they are appropriate for consumption or internal use. It is still best to use these oils as an aromatherapy agent.

Grade C: Perfume Grade Essential Oils

Grade C essential oils are perfume grade and therefore, are used in perfumes. They contain alcohol, pesticides, and chemical solvents. Only five percent of the oil has to be composed of essential oil to receive the label of being a pure essential oil.

Grade D: Floral Water

Grade D essential oil is floral water. They are of low quality and are a by-product of the distillation process.

Synergistic Oil Blends

Synergistic oil blends are a combination of healing oils that promote healing properties. You have the option of using them in baths and vaporizers.

Different Ways to Apply Essential Oils

1. Direct Inhalation

This method is the simplest, where you inhale any oil directly from the bottle. You can also soak a cotton ball with the oil and leave it in your purse to inhale all day.

Another method is steam inhalation, which involves putting a few drops of oil in a bowl of steaming water, placing a towel over your head, and breathing in the vapors that way.

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2. Indirect Inhalation

Putting several drops of any oil in a hot (preferably salted with Epsom salts) bath or into your shower basin provides for an aromatic and healing experience.

Diluting an oil in distilled water in a spray bottle and then spraying on linens, clothes, etc. are both fantastic ways to “gently” receive the beneficial properties of the more potent oils.

3. Diffusing Through the Air via Natural Evaporation

This method can be achieved simply by putting 10 – 15 drops of the chosen oil in a bowl of hot water that has been salted with either Epsom salts or sea salt. This helps with the diffusion process throughout the night.

Other ways of achieving this method are by the commercially made terra cotta bowls that are designed specifically for diffusing essential oils; or by soaking a cotton ball in the oil of your choice and placing it by your bed overnight.

4. Direct Skin Contact

Diluting any chosen essential oil with a carrier oil, such as Jojoba, olive or almond oil allows you to apply it directly to the skin without the risk of burns. This method is ideal for massage or dabbing the blend onto your wrist, neck, or other parts of the body.

As mentioned in this post, diluting with a carrier oil is important as some oils, such as peppermint, wintergreen, lavender, and others can cause burns if applied directly to the skin.

Essential Oils Grades
Essential Oils of therapeutic grade

5. Diffusion via Electronic Devices

There are a number of commercially made devices that deliver oil through electronic diffusers and nebulizers that work in your home, office, or car, and there are even diffusers that work via USB ports.

  • Ultrasonic Diffusers versus Nebulizers
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The main difference between ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers is that the former uses water to disperse an essential oil, therefore, diffusers also double as humidifiers. They use less essential oils than nebulizers, but the nebulizer gives you a much stronger concentration of essential oils.

Diffusers typically cost less than nebulizers, but nebulizers are able to cover a lot more square footage (depending on the model) and use an atomizer technology.

6. Ingestion

Essential oils of therapeutic grade can be added to tea, recipes and ingested.

Bottom Line

There are four main grades of essential oils:

Therapeutic Grade Oils (Grade A);

Food Grade Essential Oils (Grade B);

Perfume Grade Essential Oils (Grade C);

Floral Water (Grade D).

There are five main ways to apply essential oils:

1. Direct Inhalation;

2. Indirect Inhalation;

3. Diffusing Through the Air via Natural Evaporation;

4. Direct Skin Contact;

5. Diffusion via Electronic Devices

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4090492/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033